STEELERS SIGN NEW HAMPSHIRE'S DAN KREIDER TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT

PITTSBURGH-- Fullback Dan Kreider, an undrafted free agent out of the University of New Hampshire, agreed to a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers on April 2.

Kreider will receive around $400,000, the minimum for third-year players.

"We're definitely looking forward to a long term commitment in the future," said Kreider's agent, Jon Feinberg.

The Steelers activated Kreider off their practice squad in October of 2000 despite having no NFL game experience. He became the Steelers' third starter at fullback after Jon Witman broke his leg in a home game against Cincinnati. Backup Chris Fuamatu Ma'afala was out with a broken foot at the time.

Kreider replaced Witman seven games into the season and was the lead blocker for Jerome Bettis.

Kreider was also the recipient of the Joe Greene Great Performance Award, given annually to the Steeler's top rookie. Head coach Bill Cowher had some great things to say about the UNH graduate when he received the honor.

""Not only do I think he was very deserving, but the players have tremendous respect for him," Cowher said. "He's been a very blue-collar player, a guy who's worked at it, and they have great appreciation for the job he's done. He's played with such consistency for a guy who's never played in this league."

Kreider originally signed with the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2000. He was the lead blocker for Walter Payton award winner Jerry Azumah giving UNH an amazing backfield. Azumah is now a defensive back with the NFL's Chicago Bears.

While at UNH, Kreider posted some impressive statistics. In his senior year alone, he carried the ball 92 times for 518 yards and also was UNH's third-leading receiver with 25 receptions for 275 yards and a touchdown.

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